Skip to Content

    Graduate School Planning

    For some students and alumni, pursuing graduate school is an integral part of career development and reaching career goals. The following links will provide you with a general outline of information on many important areas as you consider graduate school options.

    Graduate school is an investment of your time and money. The key is to know what you want to get out of your education before you make the investment. The Career Center can help you know what questions to ask yourself and how to assess whether graduate school is right for you at the time. If so, the Career Center can also help you as you formulate your resume and personal statement, among other preparations.

    Questions You Should Ask Yourself

    • What kind of positions am I qualified for with my undergraduate degree?
    • Will a graduate degree be beneficial for better job offers, higher initial starting salaries, and advancement opportunities in my chosen career?
    • What types of graduate and professional degree programs exist for my chosen career and where are they?
    • Should I look at pursuing a master’s degree or earning another baccalaureate degree?

    Factors You Should Consider

    • How do I feel about taking more tests, writing papers again, and having lots of reading?
    • Does the thought of more studying trigger anxiety and stress?
    • What are the application procedures and admission requirements?
    • Will the program I complete require a thesis or dissertation?
    • How long will I have to complete the program of study?
    • What about cost (cost of living, out-of-state tuition, rent, on-campus housing, health insurance, miscellaneous expenses)?
    • Does the department or university offer assistantships to offset the cost of tuition and/or provide work experience?
    • Will I have to participate in an internship, practicum, or field experience?
    • Do I need relevant work experience? (Some graduate programs, including many MBA programs, strongly encourage students to get relevant work experience first.)
    • Does the program require passing comprehensive examinations to successfully complete the program?
    • What is the placement rate into full-time employment?

    Resources

    • Talk with professors in the field you plan to study.
    • The Sylvester Jones Leadership and Career Resource Area in the Career Center has several books about writing personal statements and preparing for the entrance exam.
    • U.S. News and World Report ranks institutions and identify best buys and top-10 programs in specific disciplines.
    • www.accepted.com offers application tips and sample essays